Elementar is a parametric font system designed to bring more typographic flexibility to digital screens. Elementar embraces and explores the unique properties of digital media: the pixel, the coarse resolution grid, and the dimension of time.
The Elementar font system consists of thousands of individual fonts in a continuum of different styles, sizes, weights and widths.
More about the design concept▸
To demonstrate Elementar in its native screen environment, Typotheque offers the free Elementar iPad App with gesture interface to select fonts easily and intuitively.
Gridfitted by design
Elementar fonts are ‘pixel fonts’ (or outline bitmap fonts) delivered as standard OpenType fonts. Pixel fonts are not scaleable like conventional outline fonts; because the lettershapes are designed on the grid, each different size requires a separate design, available as a different font. A pixel font can be used only at its specific size and multiples of that size.
Because Elementar fonts are designed on the grid, they look sharp on screens without the need for hinting or smart rasterisers. When used as a webfont, Elementar produces essentially the same shapes on Windows and MacOSX computers, despite major differences between the rasterisation approaches of these operating systems.
Elementar comes in three pre-designed styles, Sans A, Sans B and Serif. More styles are possible and can be developed on demand. Every style offers a continuous range of sizes from 1 to 17 pixels, with a range of 10 weights and widths.
The initial release of Elementar supports the extended Latin character set. Upcoming releases will include support for Cyrillic, Greek, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian and Hebrew. More about language support▸
Element size and shape
The size and shape of the individual elements of Elementar fonts can also be modified. Any outline shape can be used as an element.
More about element parameters▸
Gustavo Ferreira has been developing Elementar since 2002 with support from friends, organisations and collaborators. Version 1.0 was published in 2011.